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Web of Science Core Collection

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2021 11:38 AM

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The Web of Science Core Collections (WOSCC) is a collection of multidisciplinary citation and two smaller chemical databases. WOSCC covers articles from over 12,700 journals, conference papers from over 160,000 proceedings, book chapters from over 68,000 books, and chemical substances and reactions. An additional 3,000 journals from developing countries are covered in the new Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Many of the references include author-prepared abstracts, as well as links to the full-text of items, if available. In addition to standard author and organizational affiliations, keywords, titles, and publication names, it has one of the largest citation databases available that permits retrieval of citing (newer articles) and cited (older articles in the reference list) items for a given paper or group of papers.

The component databases, all of which can be searched in a single pass or selected in any combination, are:

The search system is one of the very few large databases that permit left-hand truncation in addition to the common right-hand truncation (word stemming), both using the asterisk symbol. For example, the query '*degrad*' retrieves degradation, photodegrade, biodegradations, etc. 

Because the information about each work includes the item's cited reference list (i.e., the bibliography), you can also search the databases for other works that cite a particular author or work. When one has found some key, older articles, retrieving papers that cite those key articles (citing papers) is an excellent way to see what more recent research has been done. Searching for cited references and citing papers often locates relevant items that cannot be found through traditional searching techniques using author and keyword searching because the citation process is a completely different process.

In many cases, patrons will be better served by searching the entire Web of Science platform (yes, the branding is confusing) which includes all Web of Science Core Collection database plus MEDLINE, BIOSIS Citation Index, a patent database, and a number of other excellent sources. However, we recommend searching only the Web of Science Core Collection when doing citation/tenure metrics analyses and certain advanced search features specific to the WOSCC. One reason for using WOSCC for citation metrics is that it is one of the few major databases that includes all authors and all of their affiliations. Nearly all other databases provide an address only for the lead or contact author. Advanced search features are accessed by clicking the drop down arrow beside the default Basic Search option on the default search screen and include:

  • Cited Reference Searching (starting with a key reference and searching for papers forward in time that cite that key reference)
  • Author Search (special guided search to focus search on a specific author)

SciFinder is preferred for chemical information searching.  For more information, see the WOSCC tutorial page giving links to both live training and recorded videos as well as the Quick Reference Guide.

Dates Covered

As far back as 1945. See description section above for the starting date for each component database of the Core Collection.

Print Counterpart

Arts & Humanities Citation Index 
Library Annex 
CALL NUMBER: Z 5937 .A795, 1975-1998 

Science Citation Index 
Library Annex: Per Q1.C5 1961, 1964-1991

HEALTH SCIENCES Mezzanine Index Coll, 1961-1964, 1966-1969, 1985-1998 

Social Sciences Citation Index 
Lockwood Ref (Index Area) 
CALL NUMBER: Z 7161 .S8, 1956-1998

Related Databases

See also each individual component database listed above in the description section.

Engineering Librarian

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Erin Rowley
119 Lockwood Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260